Relate encourages employees to prioritise personal relationships in National Work-Life Week
Recent research from the charity found that one in three people say their bosses believe the most productive employees put work before family. The research also found differences depending on income levels – those with a household income of over £70,000 were more likely to feel pressured to put work before family, whereas less than a third of those whose household income was less than £20,000 felt the same way.
The report The Way We Are 2014also found 42% of people say they have no close friends in the workplace. This is despite the large amount of time most people spend at work. The report finds that people are almost as likely to have daily contact with their colleagues (62%) as they are with their children (64%).
Relate Chief Executive Ruth Sutherland said, “Work is a really important part of life for many of us, and there are times when all of us feel it is taking up more of our time than we would like, especially in an age when we can be connected to the office at all times.
“However, it’s important to remember to prioritise time with our families and friends away from the workplace, as this can help us to feel balanced and more relaxed. We’d like to encourage people to use this year’s National Work-Life Week to really enjoy spending time with family and friends – even just a few hours with no phone or emails can make a big difference.”
It’s not all bad news, though. Relate also found that 59% of people have a good relationship with their boss. However, 40% of people said that maintaining a work-life balance or working long hours placed a strain on their relationships.
Relate’s President Professor Sir Cary Cooper said: “It’s great to see that almost 60% of us have good relationships with our bosses, as we spend a significant portion of our life working. However, it’s very concerning that so many people believe that work has to come before family in order to be well regarded by our bosses. This is not the message employers should be sending out, and it could lead to strain on family relationships, especially at a time when money worries are still a reality for many people.”
Relate provides support, information and advice for all relationships, including managing workplace relationships with colleagues and teams.